Dark America, Part 49 – Once More Unto The Breach

Continued from Chapter 48, here.

“Now, Captain Richards,” Starling called over her shoulder as she led me out of the interrogation room and up towards the main deck, “let me tell you about what we’ve been facing, while you’ve been vacationing in this ‘Dark America’ you’re describing.”

I had to fight to hold my tongue at that ‘vacation’ crack, but I kept my mouth shut. Major Starling hadn’t known the rest of my team, and although she likely realized what I’d lost, she perhaps thought that humor would help me move past it. She was wrong, but I wasn’t going to waste time fighting her. Not when she might prove to be my only ally.

We reached the main deck, and Starling turned to head towards the ship’s castle. The bridge, I guessed, was our destination. “I hate to burst your bubble, but your disappearance didn’t raise headlines,” she said. “I’ve heard of Nathaniel Hobbson, but I haven’t heard of you – or your team – before now.” Continue reading

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Dark America, Part 48 – Debriefing

Continued from Chapter 47, here.

Eventually, after much back-and-forth, we managed to work out some sort of agreement on the truth of my identity.

The woman who greeted me on board the offshore destroyer, Major Kara Starling, seemed razor sharp. From the moment that she greeted me, tired eyes still possessing the strength to bore straight through my defenses and into my head, I knew that she’d instantly skewer me on any lie that I tried.

So I told the truth.

In hindsight, that might have been the bigger mistake. Continue reading

Dark America, Part 47 – All Aboard!

Author’s note: I’ve just started an internship at a tech company, so these updates may be a bit slower for the next few posts.

Continued from Chapter 46, here.

The next morning, I headed off, once again into the unknown – alone.

Sara had to stay behind, back on that hill overlooking the town. Several times, I considered taking a blade to that horrible cord that bound her to the monstrosity, the Unity, that reared up over the horizon behind her. I knew, however, that doing so would likely hurt her more than it would help, and could even kill her.

It broke my heart. Sara looked, acted, felt exactly the same as before. But it wasn’t quite her, just like how the vision of my wife, inside that dream, hadn’t exactly been my wife. It had spoken like Alexis, looked like Alexis, moved like Alexis – but in the end, it turned out to just be a projection, a wax figurine.

And when I forced myself to cast aside the veil of emotion, I had to acknowledge that Sara wasn’t quite her normal self. Not any longer. Continue reading

One More Time Around

I advanced slowly into the lair, trying to stretch out my senses beyond their human, mortal limits.  Danger, the kind of danger that could instantly and permanently put my lights out, lurked around every corner.  I needed to trust my intuition.

Right now, my intuition was sending up all sorts of smoke signals and setting off all kinds of alarm bells about the corner ahead.  I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but I tightened my two-handed grip on the purloined pistol I’d taken from the entrance guard.

After all, with his head staved in, he didn’t need it any longer. Continue reading

Flywheels

They drive me mad, I think. Even at night, laying awake in my bed and staring up at the oppressive ceiling, I hear them turning, feel them grinding down my body.

The engineers claim that it’s free energy, the next step in our world’s evolution. It’s what the world needs, and everyone wants more. The production lines are running full steam, building them bigger and bigger.

The fools. None of them see our approaching doom, drawn closer by each turn of their infernal wheels. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.2: The Celestial Court

Continued from Chapter 10.1, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

The woman in the shabby little office had thrown back the curtains, blinding me with the light that came shining in.  But when I lowered my hand from in front of my eyes, I was no longer sitting in a small little book-filled room.

Instead, I sat on the same rickety chair – but it was in the middle of a huge amphitheatre, spreading out in all directions, rising up almost too high in the sky for me to see the top.

And every seat in the amphitheatre was filled by angels. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.1: The Moral Debate

Continued from Chapter 10.0, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

“What?”  I didn’t understand what the woman sitting on the other side of the desk meant.

“The price,” she repeated patiently, looking at me.  “You asked what it would take to bring your friends back, to put a stop to the Apocalypse, to restore everything back to normal.  You said that you would be willing to do anything.

“And that, it seems, is exactly the price for you.”

I felt like my stomach was dropping away from me, like I was in the front seat of a roller coaster that had just plunged over the first big drop on the ride.  “I don’t understand.” Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 10.0: The Professor’s Office

Continued from Chapter 9.2, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 10: Do what makes you happy.

At first, I was certain that I’d somehow screwed things up.

I had imagined that, upon stepping through that door, I might find myself in some vast tribunal, some sort of huge celestial court where I’d have to argue my case to God himself, standing in a massive room and with a billion angels all staring down at me.  No pressure, of course.

But instead, I found myself standing in a small, rather shabby feeling office.  I felt like I’d landed back on earth, in one of the rear rooms in some community college department building.  This felt like the kind of space where an elderly English professor might spend his tenured twilight days, reading papers that no one else ever touched and writing responses that no one would ever get around to reading. Continue reading

[AGttA] Chapter 9.2: The Library

Continued from Chapter 9.1, here.

Read it from the beginning, starting here.

Axiom 9: Don’t lose hope.

The first difference that hit me, after I stepped through the door at the top of the stairs, was the silence.

Of course, this might have been the first thing that I noticed because, despite all my survival instincts screaming at me to keep my eyes open, those lids were firmly shut as I passed through.  I’m not sure why – maybe I thought that, if I didn’t look at any of the eldritch horrors on the other side, they wouldn’t be able to hurt me.

But after a couple seconds of listening to silence, I finally opened my eyes.

Books.  My first impression came as a single word.  Books, millions upon millions of books. Continue reading

Apocalypse Love Story, Part III

Link to Part I.

Link to Part II.

This time, Elizabeth must have known that I was chasing her. Her trail got harder to follow; she even left Goldy behind at one point in a stable, selling her off to some no-good breeder that looked at her like a piece of damn meat.

Needless to say, I got my horse back.

But I kept on tracing her. Elizabeth. I couldn’t get her out of my head, couldn’t shake that tug of her. Every time I thought about giving up the chase, I just sensed her out there, and knew, somehow, she needed my help.

Damn woman led me all the way to Boston before I found her. Continue reading